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Garmin announces Vector S: $899 power meter, also announces Cycling Dynamics

Today, at the start of the outdoor portion of Eurobike, Garmin has made two cycling specific announcements.  The first is unveiling the Vector S power meter, while the second is announcing upcoming ‘Cycling Dynamics’ metrics that will be applicable to full-fledged Vector owners.

Vector S:

IMG_9079

Here’s the simplest way to think of Vector S: Half the power meter for half the price.  Err…almost almost half the price.  Garmin has followed in the footsteps of Stages and now Rotor in releasing a left-only power meter.  This means that you’ll get a single left-pedal and associated pod.  As a result, the price is reduced from $1499 to $899US (side note: As of today, Vector’s permanent price is $1,499, from $1,699).  In the future, should you decide you want to ‘upgrade’ to the full system, you can purchase the right-side for $699, making it a complete set at the same price as the full-fledged Vector.

So what’s a left-only power meter?  Well it means it only measures power coming out of the left leg.  Stages pioneered this about two years ago, with a sensor pod attached to the left crank arm.  In the case of Vector, it’s in the left pedal just like the regular Vector system measures in the pedal, and measures using strain gauges in that left pedal.  The reason why this is important though is that it won’t capture your right-leg power.  So if you have an imbalance (normal), you won’t necessarily get an accurate picture of your power output.

VectorLayout

Now, many would argue that as long as the power is consistent, it doesn’t much matter.  And, there’s some truth to that but also some elements that are incorrect.  In the case of Team Sky – that’s the approach they’ve taken with their recent Stages sponsorship.  It really depends on how you use it.  The imbalance variations you see do however differ from person to person.

For example, I have a slight imbalance to one side up until my FTP (functional threshold power), but then beyond that the imbalance becomes quite exaggerated.  So if my left-side was 55% (and right side 45%), that would mean that my total power would be incorrectly exaggerated by 10% (110%), as left-power is always simply doubled.  I’ve also found that my power balance changes the more I fatigue.  Thus, on a 90 minute ride I stay consistent, but on a 4+ hour ride, I start to slowly become less balanced.

Finally, this can become more challenging with long-term data if you start off with a left-sided power meter and then move to a full power meter, since the long-term data would be inconsistent and might not show your gains properly.

I asked Garmin what they thought the merits/downsides of a left-only system, and here’s what they had to say:

“In our research and data collection among testers it has proven to be reliable. There are left-right differences for every athlete and these are not static, but the changes appear to be reasonably repeatable and a single-sensing solution is a great entry point for cyclists interested in adding power to their training tools. If they decide they want direct left-right accuracy later on, they can always purchase the upgrade pedal for a dual-sensing system for additional insight into how they ride bikes. “

Now for me as a triathlete, I rarely (if ever) go beyond my FTP – so I’ve found in analyzing my data long-term that it’s less of an issue.  Whereas for a sprinter or track athlete, it might be more of an issue.  It’s really hard to say since there’s not a ton of good study information on it yet, just lots of data floating around.

Again, don’t misunderstand my explanation of the pros/cons above.  I think that anything that reduces the power meter price point is great.  And, I think everyone’s requirements are different.  To that end, I think that for many people, a left-only system is sufficient as long as they understand the limitations (no, it’s not as simple as “Team Sky is using one, so it must work for me!”).  As with all power meters though, you still have to do the hard work – merely having a shiny piece of metal installed on your bike doesn’t make you faster.

IMG_9045

When it comes to what’s in the package, you’ll get the following:

- 1 left sensing pedal with Garmin Vector (the pedal looking thing)
– 1 right pedal with no sensor (just to match the left)
– 1 Vector communications pod (the silver pod looking thing)
– 2 cycling shoe cleats (for left/right)
– Some o-rings
– Some metal washers
– 1 ANT+ mini-USB stick for firmware updates/configuration

All of which you’ll attach to the left hand-side of the bike, just like this (except for the ANT+ stick):

IMG_9051

Now, to be really clear – Vector S is again just half a Vector.  There isn’t any difference in hardware between them.  Though, there has been changes in hardware to Vector over the past year.  Since public availability last August, they’ve made a number of hardware and software tweaks.  These include:

- Pod Material: The material of the pedal pod was changed from cast aluminum to forged aluminum (to reduce breakage during installation).
O-Ring: Units started shipping with a rubber o-ring on the inner thread of the pedal spindle to help self-center the washer(s) during installation.
Larger Pods: New larger pedal pod option was made available.  Technically it’s not the pod itself, but rather the pod cable that’s larger/longer.  This is for larger crank arms.  This will be available for Vector S as well.
Metrics: Released a software update adding in torque effectiveness and pedal smoothness
Error Logging: Released a software update that logs errors of the crank length or installation angles have been incorrectly set

Now for those of you looking at power meter options, do keep in mind that Interbike is still two weeks away.  As such, I wouldn’t make any decisions until any further announcements happen then.  Plus, it’s not like Vector S is available this week anyway.  In the meantime, check up on my most recent Power Meter Recommendations post from last September to get a bit of background.  I’ll be updating that post again in the week or two after Interbike based on all the announcements.

Finally, for those that do want to pre-order, you can do that through Clever Training for Vector S and support the site.  The DCR Clever Training VIP club discount is eligable.  However, it’s also worth noting that effective today, Garmin has dropped the price of the full Vector variant from $1,699US to $1,499US.  Yet, the $200 rebate remains valid through September.  So that gets you down to $1,299US, and that’s before the 10% DCR VIP club discount.

Cycling Dynamics:

In addition to Vector S, Garmin is also introducing the concept of ‘Cycling Dynamics’, which are a series of new metrics in the same line of thinking as their ‘Running Dynamics’ that were introduced last fall for higher-end running products.

The information on these is a bit slim at this point. While Garmin has given descriptions of the different metrics, along with screenshots of how it looks on compatible displays – we don’t yet have the actual data fields, nor how it’ll appear on Garmin Connect.  So, you’ll have to let your imagination run a bit here beyond these two screenshots.

Note that all this new new ‘Cycling Dynamics’ functionality requires a ‘dual-sensing’ Vector (aka, the full two-pedal Vector, not the Vector S).  While some of these might be quite achievable with Vector S, others are definitely two-pedal focused.  I suppose in some ways it’s kinda like how the FR220 is technically capable of capturing Running Dynamics from an HRM-RUN, but that’s reserved for the higher-end FR620.  So again, you need the original/full Vector version.  If you have Vector already, you’ll get a firmware update sometime later this year with these new metrics being transmitted. Here’s the rundown:

Seated/Standing Position:

CyclingDynamicsSeatedFirst up, Garmin will now record whether you’re seated or standing.  This is recorded into the activity files, allowing one to create a composition of a ride against whether they were in our out of the saddle.  This can then be correlated against power data (or, a spot on the map).  Garmin says that the change is detected instantly and recorded as such in the activity files on supported head units.

You can see your time in and out of the saddle as a new metric on supported head units, just like you might add average heart rate or average power to your screen.  You’ll notice that this metric carries through not only as a single data screen (Time Standing/Time Seated), but also as an arrow and icon on the Power Phase display as well.

Power Phase (PP):

Next is Power Phase, which is about determining where in the pedal stroke the leg is generating the most wattage, down to a precise slice of the stroke (think of the stroke as a clock).  This then can be mashed up against metrics like left/right balance to put together a potentially interesting picture of a ride, or, a larger group of riders.

Now, given we’ve got lots of ‘interesting but non-actionable’ data from left/right power meters today, I asked Garmin how this new data could be used in real-life.  They noted that:

“The PP data can support the exploration of theories about the optimal crank angle in the pedal stroke for producing power, the smoothness of power created, and what that might indicate about fit or fitness. We also plan to provide summaries of PP stats by type of rider, as we collect data across a larger population of cyclists.”

This jives a bit with what they’ve been saying for well over a year in that in order to understand this data, it really needs to be aggregated en masse to look at trends and try to identify clear patterns.  I don’t think a single rider by his or herself will really get a lot out of this until smart sports science folks can clarify how to best train or race by it.

Platform Center Offset (PCO):

CyclingDynamicsStandingFinally, we have Platform Center Office (PCO).  This is likely going to be most useful in bicycle fit, to determine when a rider is offset from the center of their pedals.  Additionally, this can be used in injury rehabilitation.

What’s occurring here is that Vector is reporting the axial location of the force applied across the pedal body.  This includes along the spindle, from inside to outside of the pedal.  This is then visually indicated within the PCO offset.  You’ll notice if you compare the imagery to the right while the cyclist is standing it’s slightly different than the offset while the cyclist is seated.

Availability/Small Print:

These are all planned for “Late 2014”, and will require a firmware update to the Garmin Vector pedals.  So, if you can’t remember where you put that little tiny USB stick that came with Vector, now’s a good time to start looking (or, to steal a friend’s).

Of course, using these metrics will require a compatible head unit.  Just like Running Dynamics, only certain watches/units will support it.  Garmin won’t announce those units until closer to software release.  I’ve gotta believe that at a minimum it would be the Garmin Edge 1000, Edge 810, and Edge 510 – but that’s just my speculation.  I could potentially see them rolling in an update to all those with the Garmin Segments support (which, they haven’t promised either).

Next is the question on whether it’ll be ANT+ or private-ANT.  This is meaningful because it would drive whether or not other companies would easily offer similar metrics and compatibility with their own products.  If the Running Dynamics side is to be any indicator – the answer is a resounding ‘no’ to openness, as that functionality is still considered ‘private’.  I would expect that since the data is recorded into a standard .FIT file, once the data is there, then any 3rd party app could get it after the fact (i.e. Training Peaks, Strava, Sport Tracks, etc…).

Of course, I think ultimately it’ll be interesting to see these metrics trended over large groups of people, and the data funneled into research and bike-fit focused efforts.  I suspect that’s where the most bang for the buck will come.

Thanks for reading!

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107 Comments

  1. Eric Lofgren

    Oh, Garmin. Such cool hardware, such detailed metrics... and today upload to your website is completely broken for everyone. Hundreds of complaints with no official acknowledgment.

    Reply
    • Titan replied

      I'm surprised that Garmin hasn't bought Strava.

      Reply
    • David Tunney replied

      Worked all day for me?

      Reply
    • Greg Evans replied

      Please no. Garmin would hopelessly ruin/break Strava.

      Reply
    • Paul Phelps replied

      Strava is a Garmin subsidiary !

      Reply
    • Alexander Hahn replied

      stava buying garmin would make more sense… look at that userbase!

      Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      A) No, Strava is not a Garmin subsidiary.
      B) Strava could not afford to buy Garmin.
      C) Garmin purchasing Strava at today's valuation isn't a likely scenario.

      Reply
    • Mark replied

      and, D) Of Garmin's five major business segments, Fitness accounts for only 13% of Garmin's total revenue (even if you lump the Outdoor and Fitness segments together, that's still only 32%). The bulk of Garmin's revenue comes from the Auto/Mobile, Aviation and Marine segments.

      Reply
  2. Dan Lichtenberger

    I thought I was the only one having this issue Eric. Interestingly, it still synced my workout to trainingpeaks and strava thought not myfitnesspal.

    Reply
    • Eric Lofgren replied

      Me too. Not sure how that's possible, as I never saw evidence of a successful upload... but if it's on Strava it must have passed through Garmin.

      Sometimes Garmin reminds me of some TV-stereotype absent-minded professor. Comes up with cool things all the time but doesn't really know how to talk to people, or finish a sentence, etc.

      They really need a message "We're having problems right now, and we're working on it" so people don't wipe their devices, reinstall Express, and generally cause themselves all sorts of stress for nothing.

      Reply
    • Paul S replied

      Is your activity there this morning, when GC seems to be back to normal? At some point during the afternoon/evening, they were showing some kind of "not working" message, but it was Sunday in Kansas, so I wouldn't necessarily assume that they were aware of a problem right away. (It also wouldn't shock me, since it's Garmin we're talking about, that activities that went into the backend yesterday never show up on the user facing site. All mine are there, but mine went in yesterday morning.)

      Having been around for the beginning of the Internet, I find it truly weird that a not-very-important web site being down lead to all of the noise on the Garmin forums this morning. I guess that's a good sign.

      Reply
    • Drew replied

      This totally makes sense! My run this morning is not in my GC dashboard, but it synced over to TrainingPeaks just fine.

      At least my coach won't get on my ass!

      Reply
    • Eric Lofgren replied

      No, my run from this morning is not on GC yet, though it's been on Strava and TP for hours. I'm still getting the embarrassingly-vague error "Sorry, we couldn't sync your device. Please try again."

      It's not that the website was down. If the website was down people would have moved on and checked later. The problem was that individual uploads seemed to fail, and no one knew why, and no one (unless they went on the forums) knew that they weren't the only one with the problem. And even then there's a lot of posts like "I have one file that won't upload" where people thought it was a problem only they were having.

      I haven't seen any evidence at all, yet, that the folks at Garmin know that there's a problem.

      Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      Well, looks like Garmin is just joining in on the outages/issues that everyone else has been having. Suunto was down close to 36 hours from Sunday to Monday. Polar V800 users have had to do resets to get their units working with GPS since Friday. Thus...everyone is kinda even (actually, Suunto had it worst).

      That said - since this post is focused on Vector and Cycling Dynamics - let's try and keep things focused on that.

      Reply
    • Barry D replied

      I posted in Garmin's forums because I couldn't input a strength training workout manually last night. Bunch of others replied with similar issues now. Says a data field is incomplete or unacceptable, but doesn't tell you the field and changing everything doesn't make a difference. Hope it gets fixed soon because that is where I keep all my data.

      Ray, thanks for the info on the Vector S. I have been thinking about buying the Vector next year, but this might be a stopgap so it isn't as much money at once. Interested to see what shows up at Interbike and your thoughts as always.

      Reply
    • Gabe replied

      Ha I am having issues as well with GC

      I just got my fenix2 and couldn't sync. Though I do see my open water swim on strava

      Reply
    • Lars replied

      Will Shimano pedals come for vector?

      Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      I don't expect to see that this year. Perhaps down the road, but is think there would be larger demand for Speedplay, or a mountain bike focus.

      Reply
  3. Tosin

    It's always hurry up and wait with Garmin, who knows when we'll actually be able to buy Vector S.

    It's promising that they are doing this now, but I'm pretty sure they were keeping their mouth shut when everyone was badmouthing Stages left-only philosophy. Garmin probably realized their was more cash to be made if they prices down by going left-only. Abs then there is a greater likelihood of that customer getting the full package later down the line.

    Reply
    • Eric Lofgren replied

      I'm a runner who bikes for cross-training only - not a triathlete. But power meters are still way too expensive. I can't possibly buy a pedal (one pedal!) that costs more than the rest of my bike. The data just aren't that useful.

      Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      I would expect availability to be relatively quick, since they're already producing Vector in mass...and this is just half of that.

      Obviously, if you're not a cyclist focused on performance - you probably won't find the value in a power meter. But, for cyclists focused on performance, many do.

      Reply
  4. Bert

    How fast can you change the Vector pedal from one bike to another?
    Is it the same as a normal pedal, or do you have certain torque limits, calibration to keep in mind every time you want to swap?

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      It's semi-similar to a pedal. The challenge is doing calibration. If you check out my review from the full Vector, it's about 5 minutes for both pedals for me.

      Reply
    • Happy Runner replied

      You are forgetting the time for an offering to the God of Pod Breakage. From reading the Vector forums, that appears to be the most critical step.

      Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      I suspect you'll see those issues drop with the new pod materials.

      Reply
  5. Jeffrey

    what are you're thought when you compare the garmin vector S to the watteam powerbeat?

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      Initially, I'd say that Vector S (or Stages or anyone else) is a product that's here and available today (or shortly available for Vector S). Whereas PowerBeat isn't targeted till next summer, so basically a year away. Given I haven't yet seen a single power meter product that hasn't slipped timelines significantly since announcement, I'd be hesitant to wait on PowerBeat based on historical trends from the rest of the industry.

      In the case of Vector S, I see that no differently than Stages or anyone else releasing a new crank variant. A minor manufacturing mod (really just in packaging and distribution), and not a truly new product with major risks.

      Reply
  6. mike

    Is the vector pedal compatible with the Fenix 2?

    Reply
  7. Claus Kaastrup

    Any news when Vector will support the use of elliptical rings?

    Reply
  8. Chris O.

    This is interesting. Here's another interesting one ... Vector S is on the garmin web store, for $899 USD, and the upgrade pedal is there too (under "accessories"), for $699 USD ... So, buy both for $1598 USD - $100 less than a full vector kit! lol

    Reply
    • Tim replied

      You missed the fact that they just dropped the price of the two pedal Vector to $1499USD.

      Reply
  9. For a full Vector set, the right pedal transmits the data to the head unit (based on your original full review). The left pedal transmitted data to the right pedal to be relayed to the head unit. It sounds like this was changed?

    Since the left pedal will transmit to the head unit, could you now buy a full set and put the left pedal on one bike and the right pedal on other bike?

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      No, I asked that as well (meant to include it above), you cannot 'downgrade' a full Vector kit to two different bikes/peoples.

      Reply
  10. Don

    Ray, I see this single pod uses a new forged aluminum material. any chance you could purchase one and test its strength against the original pod?

    Reply
  11. Graeme

    Any reason why they chose the left side over the right?

    Doubt it matters, just curious...

    Reply
    • Phil Barnes replied

      away from the chain?

      Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      Hmm, I'll ask when I see one of the engineers at Interbike. I could see the logic in simply saying "Stages is left, ROTOR is left, let's just all keep it left.".

      Reply
    • Eric Lofgren replied

      I wonder if one side is more commonly stronger (e.g. most right-handers are more powerful on the left pedal). Certainly having different brands on the same side should improve consistency across single-pedal data.

      Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      In general, it seems to be slightly all over the map from the data I've seen from random people. It would be cool if Garmin looked at doing some infographics with existing Garmin Connect Vector data.

      Reply
    • Patrick Myers replied

      Isn't it obvious? The cyclist mantra is "on your left!" ;)

      I gotta say (as someone who is still a new triathlet and whose current bike came in under a grand) I'm glad Garmin has taken this approach. While eventually I'll get up to wanting side-specific power info (and a nicer bike), we really need more budget friendly options for power meters, and doing single-side power is one way to start getting the cost down.

      Yes, this one little piece will equate to 2/3rds the cost of my bike, but it's better than 1.5x the cost of my bike.

      Reply
    • Tosin replied

      I just always assumed they don't need more stuff on the chain side of the bike to work on...

      Reply
    • jimmy replied

      Some people are right foot forward, others are left. It has nothing to do with whether you are right or left handed. It's about a 50/50 split across population.

      When you do a bunnyhop, which foot feels more comfortable being forwards - left or right?That answers which foot you prefer.

      Reply
  12. Phil Barnes

    any news if torque will be available?

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      You can get torque today from the calibration screen. And, Vector does transmit torque even while riding - it's simply that Garmin head units don't display it.

      For example, in one of the tools I have, I can see and record torque from Vector.

      Reply
    • Phil Barnes replied

      do you have a link to that tool Ray?

      Reply
  13. Nicholas

    Ray - will you be at Eurobike to report any further developments regarding Garmin's Cycling Dynamics (if any) and all the other power meters and data software?

    I hear SRM will be venturing into Left/Right data and of course, their new PC8.

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      Yup, I have a packed Eurobike schedule, with mostly power meter companies (and trainers).

      That said I don't expect anything further from them on Cycling Dynamics beyond what's above since some of that is as recent as last night in my talks with them. I suspect we probably won't see better definition on that till Oct/Nov (assuming an 'End of year' release for Cycling Dynamics).

      Note that Vector S is 'Fall', which while it technically ends Dec 22nd, I suspect we'll see things far sooner.

      Reply
    • Tim replied

      Garmin says "October" on their pre-order website.

      Reply
  14. Gabe

    Ray,

    How is the durability of these pedals? Say someone riding on average of 100 miles a week.

    My pedals do take some bruises here. Not to mention people replace their pedals ever so often.

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      I haven't heard of any problems with the pedal body's themselves in the year since Vector has been out. the good news is if you did break a pedal body, you can actually replace just that component (without the cost of the entire strain gauge).

      Reply
  15. Just a minor update/clarification from Garmin. The price of the full version of Vector has dropped by $200US down to $1,499US. In conjunction with that, there's still a $200US rebate available for rebate through September. Thus getting you down to $1,299US.

    Now, for DCR readers through the Clever Training VIP program, you can still save 10% off the pre-rebate price, and save the $200 rebate. Which basically means you're saving a crapton. Oh, and you get a free$1 crow foot adapter. :)

    (Updated, you get a crow foot adapter for $1...)

    Reply
    • Harald replied

      Is the full version of Vector updated with the latest hardware/software changes?

      Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      Yup, and I just checked that everything that Clever has is less than 30 days old (direct from Garmin, no distributor).

      Reply
  16. Ray, a question about the price. A single left-only meter is $899 and to upgrade to a full one (get the right meter), it's an additional $699. That's a total of $1600 while the new price is $1500 so it's actually a $100 penalty if you are indecisive, right?

    Reply
  17. Jeff K

    So, stages is something like $700 directly from the manufacturer and the vector S will be around $800 with the DCR discount. I know there will be announcements with interbike, but given what I see right now, I would definitely take the vector S, solely for the ability to transfer between bikes.

    Reply
    • Gunnar replied

      FWIW, in just a tiny bit longer than swapping pedals, I could change my Stages Ultegra crank arm between my commute, road, TT/Tri and CX bike (which all run the same type Utegra crankset). Very convenient.

      But I'm afflicted with the same issue Ray mentions with my left leg putting out less power than my right (which I notice using my Computrainer SpinScan), so I switched back to using a Powertap wheel.

      I'm waiting for a lower priced unit that I can use so I can keep track of my left/right power. The Full Vector unit through Clevertraining is getting enticingly close to my budget.

      Reply
    • Steve G replied

      It's insanely easy to swap crank arms.
      I think if you're going for a left side only power meter, you can't beat Stages.

      Reply
  18. Nelson

    Hi Ray,

    If I want to purchase the vector S and I don't have a compatible pedal system, is Garmin will sell a normal pedal with no power? At what price?

    Thank you for your great work

    Nelson

    Reply
    • Patrick Myers replied

      Ray may answer as well, but looking at his "what's inside the box," it says:

      1 left sensing pedal with Garmin Vector (the pedal looking thing)
      1 right pedal with no sensor (just to match the left)
      ...
      2 cycling shoe cleats (for left/right)

      It comes with two pedals and two cleats, so you shouldn't have to buy anything extra.

      Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      Yup, correct, comes with two pedals. One has the sensor, one's a blank.

      Reply
    • David replied

      Maybe you could change the text on the second picture. It pretty clearly states "Your Existing pedal here". I actually was thinking the same question. But I'm not in the market right now, so I did actually ask.

      Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      Good call. Tweaked!

      Reply
  19. Joshua Parks

    aw yes, the first of the Power Meter Pricing announcements (clearly this one counts). And I love the comment about more good things to come...but what?

    Ray, keep it up. Always a pleasure to read and great stuff!

    Reply
  20. Matt

    Focus group of 1 here, but I'm much less likely to go for "one-sided" meters because it compromises comparability with friends using other systems. I want to beat my friends' FTP! As long as PowerTap is close to the same price point, seems better for me.

    Reply
  21. Alex

    I might be a bit behind on this one, but does anyone know how Vector plays with non-Garmin head units? I have a cheaper CatEye Stealth 50 GPS computer which is ANT power compatible. Obviously I don't expect any of these new cycling dynamics metrics to transfer over but would the basic power info be visible?

    Alex

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      I haven't tested the Stealth 50, but Vector follows the ANT+ spec, even for downlevel non-L/R aware units. I'd be surprised if it didn't work.

      Reply
  22. Ted H

    I've been debating P2M vs Stages for awhile. I like the idea of trying to save money by going with Stages, but then I would have to get new crankset because none of my cranksets work with the stages arms (I have specialized). Garmin lowering their price really puts me really closer to choosing them. I just have to decide to "like" the look pedal system.

    Reply
  23. Greg Hamm

    Hey Ray,

    As an owner of the full set I am excited to see Garmin bringing out new software to further enhance the experience. The new metrics of PCO and PP...are they in real time when displayed on bike computer? (Sorry if that's an obvious question). Just curious how it's displayed or how it will be displayed whether on bike computer or on Garmin Connect.

    Greg

    Reply
  24. Great new price Garmin but I can't give up my Speedplay pedals.

    Reply
    • Steve G replied

      Amen.
      I hate the pedals... if they had a speedplay solution, then sold! I'd just move my Stages over to another bike.

      Reply
  25. Joel Mulligan

    Garmin really needs to lead the way and stop using private ant with all their cool new features. Bluetooth is rapidly gaining ground and frankly I much prefer ant+. I would hate to see support in the wider market start is disappear because of an inability to compete. Suunto have already thrown ant+ to the dogs.

    Reply
  26. Troy

    Hi Ray, I just tried to apply the coupon code for Clever Training and it isn't working to buy the Vector Pedals. Is this considered a deep discount?

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      Hi Troy-

      With Vector (and about 7 other Garmin products), Garmin requires that you use the DCR Clever Training VIP program instead to save the 10%. It only takes a second to sign-up and there's a bunch of other benefits too like the faster shipping and then it supports Girls On The Run (non-profit group). Details here: link to dcrainmaker.com

      And of course, it helps support the site. I appreciate it!

      Reply
  27. James

    Ray

    I have been reading your blogs for some time now and absolutely love the thoroughness and level of detail you provide. Your testing seems quite extensive and appears to cover all scenarios.

    I bought the Vectors about 2 months ago now and after some initial hiccups, including a broken pod (which was replaced by Garmin at no cost) I have them installed on my TCR Ultegra cranks (Di2) and they have been excellent. They provide consistent and reliable data. The price was great, around AUD$1200 on special.

    I understand Garmin have problems and they can at times have poor customer relations, however in general I have found them to be what I would expect from a large global company, helpful and reasonably responsive with good product support. People seem to have one issue and then decide to bash companies. I think most of us just need to be patient, which I know can be difficult when your expensive product is not doing what it is supposed to.

    As for the Vectors. I use the 510 and 910XT (do some triathlon) with them and they are great.

    I must say however that, though I have done all I can with resetting, calibration, spoken to Garmin and I still get a balance variance L to R. I generally get 54% left to 48% right imbalance. It comes closer to 50/50 or on 50/50 if I concentrate, it does vary at different power levels and it seems to get worse at FTP and above.

    I think this new “S” pedal setup would be good if you could factor the value, however you would have to know what the imbalance factor was to start with, which would require a double set up and some kind of testing. An algorithm could be used to allow different factors in the power multiplication of the left hand side only power output to allow for variances during sitting, standing, high and low power and torque values. Just a thought.

    Otherwise I would not trust one pedal as I believe for someone like me, I would get consistently high power values due to this imbalance. In saying this however, I guess it is all down to using power for training and as long as the value is consistent and repeatable I guess the accuracy in relation to other systems is not important.

    Love you blog. Keep it up.

    James

    Reply
    • Mark replied

      I think the problem with trying to "pre-calibrate" the imbalance factor when using a single-sided power meter is that, as Ray Points out above, the imbalance is not consistent. And I can confirm that in my case. It varies with level of fatigue (as per Ray) and also with the power output level itself. So while you might conceivably be able to simulate the latter factor (power output level) in a controlled lab or bike fit setting, I can't see how you could easily simulate the important fatigue factor.

      Reply
  28. Roberto

    Ray,

    I have both Vector pedals .
    My understanding was that the Vector system has the right pedal being the primary one, and the left pedal communicating to the right one and then to the ciclocomputer.

    now , this Vector S is a left pedal. in case of an upgrade , buying the right pedal, does it mean the left pedal is the leading one in the upgraded Vector S system?

    i also understood that pedals cannot be mixed. is this still true?

    one note about Vector's issues; has owner i am following the Garmin Forum. Many users report the pedal body being loose, as the bearing inside the pedal body is not well designed.
    Are you aware of this? Do you address this question to Garmin Vector's team? (sorry Garmin Forum is down and cannot paste the link here)
    Has the Vector S having the same design as of the Exsustar pedal of the previous Vector release?

    R

    Reply
  29. Charlie

    Hi Ray,
    I'd echo the above, I am now on my 2nd and about to get my 3rd set of Vectors as the left pedal body keeps going loose on the axle (very poor bearing interface). The left pedal now actually rattles when you roll the bike over bumps its that loose.
    Is there any news on this at all? If not could you ask them?
    The support channel online has gone very quiet!

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      I'll talk to them about it at Interbike (that's where the Vector folks would be), less so at Eurobike since they aren't sent over here.

      Reply
    • Charlie replied

      Thanks, its would be interesting to get some direct feedback.
      My Garmin rep has just offered to keep changing them as they'll "Have to do something one day..."
      Great system, shame it just doesnt last so well.

      Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      Yeah, there's some changes focused on that coming down the road, but I'll have details at Interbike (and it will be back portable).

      Reply
  30. likepend1

    link to polar.com

    compatible with smartphones (and of course with the v800) .... for 999 Euro!

    pretty interesting!!

    Reply
  31. Mr Nofish

    At the end of the day, I'm a little non-plussed, all of these new products are just me-toos. Not really competing on price, simply appealing to customers who are fine in theory with a left-only DFPM, but can't or won't buy Stages.

    I wonder if this will put pressure on Stages to further drop their prices (since I can't see many other ways to improve their current product, except offering a dual-sensing variant) or not. It's been mentioned elsewhere on this site Stages is already running at full capacity or close to it, so they might as well hold to their price point and just leverage their Sky sponsorship.

    BTW:

    (no, it’s not as simple as “Team Sky is using one, so it must work for me!”).

    You don't talk to a lot of roadies do you?

    j/k :)))

    As with all power meters though, you still have to do the hard work – merely having a shiny piece of metal installed on your bike doesn’t make you faster.

    And as you've been saying that for a long time, your continued popularity is proof 3 out of 4 readers are simply skimming (still kidding yeah but not just)

    Reply
  32. Gilbert

    i tried ordering the garmin vector full set but the 'DCR10WHP' code doesnt work. was hoping to take advantage of the rebate and discount. any way this will work?

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      Hi Gilbert-

      Yup, there's still a discount, you just have to use the DCR Clever Training VIP program instead (Garmin requirement), for a handful of products 8, including Vector. It's super quick and easy though and still saves you a crapton while also still supporting the site: link to dcrainmaker.com

      Plus you get faster shipping and help support Girls On The Run.

      Thanks!

      Reply
    • Gilbert replied

      Thank you Rain. will do this again tomorrow.

      Reply
  33. Jon

    Hi Ray,

    Really enjoy reading the reviews on your website, thank you.

    Is there any news on a possible Edge 510 head unit replacement/upgrade? Possibly with some of the features of the of the 1000, for example Di2 information?

    Thanks,

    Jon

    Reply
  34. I'm hoping Garmin will announce a replacement for the 500 sometime soon. The 510 was a disappointment, and the 1000 is ridiculously bulky and heavy.

    Reply
  35. Emil

    Would you recomend using Garmin Vector S on the left side and continue with a Dura Ace 9000 pedal (as I have to day) on the right side ? weight vs similar pedals/cleats. A slight possible difference in power output (L/R) is acceptable to me. The L/R Vector is too expensive but the S looks affordable. I have a Garmin Edge 800 and Garmin Forerunner 610 and like them both...

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      Hmm, it does include a pedal for the right side (so they match). I don't know enough about the exact impact on fit/etc to have them different.

      For me personally, I'd just use the extra pedal included.

      Reply
  36. Barry D

    Seriously thinking of purchasing the Vector package from Clever Training after being reminded about the VIP discount and the mail-in rebate. I also need a new set of pedals for my bike now too.

    Any idea if the Vector large will fit the FSA Gossamer 53/39T crankset? I tried doing the measurements, but it is hard to see if it is exactly 15mm in thickness or just a bit under. I have the chain clearance and the width is around the 36mm mark. Reason I would like to get the large is because I want to switch the Vectors to my Shiv with Specialized cranks in the race season otherwise having them isn't very useful.

    Lastly, if I do need two different size Vectors, can I just buy the smaller pods for the FSA bike and keep the larger ones on the Specialized set with just switching the pedals between bikes?

    Is this something the folks at Clever Training could answer?

    P.S. Been enjoying the twitter updates this week. Thanks for the great info.

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      Yup, the large pod goes up to 44mm, so you're good there. Though, the standard goes up to 38mm, so technically you should get away with that.

      Thanks for the support via Clever, I appreciate it!

      Reply
  37. "lots of ‘interesting but non-actionable’ data"....
    Great quote.

    Reply
  38. loksta

    Hi
    I have Garmin vector and Garmin edge 500. I am having problems with a lot of dead spots and zero readings and won't register cadence either. It was fitted by a bike shop so I assume they have done it correctly. I find it happens a lot in lower gears or just bounces out at random times. Is this usual or is there a problem? It's pretty frustrating and hardly conducive for accurate training. Any help is greatly appreciated or if I can be pointed in the right direction for help.
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      It's really hard to say, it sounds like perhaps the battery cap might not be in place though - or the little pods might not have the left or right side rubber piece fully pushed in. Try removing the little rubber piece and sticking them back in, and then try removing/sticking back in the battery doors.

      Else, the Garmin Forums have a very active Garmin Vector sub-forum, which the Garmin Vector team is actually on (even on weekends many times, though, maybe not a holiday weekend).

      Reply
    • Darren replied

      Thanks Ray , the battery cap wasn't in properly, all sorted and working well now. Thanks for your help

      Reply
  39. Paul

    If you don't own one of the suggested compatible head units but own their Fenix2 or some other ANT+ device, will the advanced metrics be saved and then assessed with their online tools (eg., Garmin Connect)? Or are the metrics lost?

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      Right now the metrics would be lost. But again, we don't know what units will get support for that beyond just the Edge 1000. So, don't count that chicken hatched.

      Reply
  40. Mik

    Hello
    with the verctor s, what is "calculate" the right leg power? The pedal or the unit? If it's the pedal no problem, but if it's the unit and if i use a suunto unit (ambit 2 ant+), this unit don't calculate it and on my screen, i will look only the left leg power, that's right?
    Sorry for my english limited.
    Mik

    Reply
    • DC Rainmaker replied

      Vector S sends full power, which it does internally by just doubling the left power. So any head unit (such as the Ambit2/2S will work just fine). Enjoy!

      Reply
  41. DT

    Ray, thank you for the review. I train with my kickr and I love having power as part of my training. I am trying to add it to racing 70.3s. I do not need a super power meter, just one that will keep me in line during the race. What would you recommend? Is that correct that CT does not carry Stages? Thank you!

    Reply
  42. Mike S

    I have read and I have had the same problem with my Garmin310xt version 4.50 not showing the correct HR reading doing their (my) workouts. I got tired of Garmin telling me to change the battery which I've a number of times. After calling Garmin a number of times and 3 HR monitors two new and a replacement Garmin 310xt. Still having the same problem I called and wanted my 310xt set back to 3.90. After 3 1/2 hours on the phone with a tech and software support I finally got it back to version 3.90. I have used the 310 for my last 4 runs and I have not had one issue with the HR monitor. I was also able to download my workouts with Garmin Express. Please let your readers know if they like and want to keep their 310xt with the HR monitor to call Garmin to get their watch pushed back to version 3.90. They can do it they don't want to but they will.

    Reply
  43. Tomer Shahar

    Hi,
    Do you of the cycling dynamic will be support with the 910XT?

    Tomer

    Reply

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